Notes from around the Human Experience…
HE’S BACK, AND HE’S GOT DRY, TECHNICAL MATTER: As you read this, the entire planet has rung in the New Year. As I write this, however, not everyone has, though we are about to here at Daily Dose World Headquarters in the Mountain Time Zone of the United States.
Dry, Technical Matter: Though there are 24 hours in a day, we humans have managed to tweak local time to the extent there are now no less than 36 separate time zones on this planet. There are the 24 standard time zones, of course, but there are also twelve others that are either a quarter of an hour or, more likely, a half-hour off of Coordinated Universal Time, which is a fancy-pants way of saying Greenwich Mean Time, which is the time at the Prime Meridian, which runs from the North Pole to the South Pole through Greenwich, England.
Speaking Of The South Pole/Oh, Jesus H: All 24 time zones converge at the South Pole and manned stations in Antarctica generally use New Zealand time since that is where they are supplied from, though some stations keep the time of whatever country they are from.
Please Pass The Dry, Technical Matter: Samoa, Kiribati and Christmas Island started the festivities off at 3am Mountain Standard Time Sunday. 15 minutes later New Zealand’s Chatham Island rang in 2018.
Please Step Away From The Dry, Technical Matter: Due to the fact the International Date Line looks like it was drawn by a team of drunks and is not entirely straight, Kiribati rings in the New Year 25 hours before those zanies in American Samoa – the last inhabited place to ring in the New Year – despite the fact American Samoa is actually a bit west of Kiribati.
Kiribati is so intent on starting the New Year before anybody else it will actually be early morning on January 2nd there when Baker and Howland islands and some other US possessions finally straggle into 2018.
If Dry, Technical Matter Is Inevitable…: All told, it took our planet 26 hours to usher in 2018.
ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE!: The Emancipation Proclamation, ordering the freedom of slaves in ten states, takes effect on this date in 1863. It had been signed by President Abraham Lincoln the previous September.
The Proclamation applied only to those areas of the Confederate states not under Union control. The four slave states that remained in the Union – Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware and Missouri – were not affected and the 25 Virginia counties that would later form West Virginia and join the Union that summer, were excluded as well.
Great Moments In Canal Building: After several years of planning, surveying and, as it turned out, bribing, the Panama Canal Company of Frenchman Ferdinand de Lesseps begins construction on the Panama Canal on this date in 1881.
The project was difficult from the start, with landslides, malaria, yellow fever and financial difficulties all taking their toll and the project was abandoned in 1888. The project would later be bought by the United States, which overcame the health problems and completed the canal in 1914.
Oh Yeah: de Lesseps, his son and others were later convicted of bribery for their efforts in trying to get the French government to help fund the project.
Hut, Hut Hike: The first American college football bowl game is played on this date in 1901 when Stanford and Michigan play in the first Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
8,000 people showed up at Tournament Park – now an athletic facility for the California Institute of Technology – to watch Michigan route Stanford 49-0. Tournament of Roses officials were so thrilled with the first Rose Bowl chariot racing resumed the following year and the Rose Bowl would not return until 1916 when Washington State defeated Brown 14-0.
Quotebook: The wise man has no ambitions. Therefore, he has no failures. He who never fails always succeeds. And he who always succeeds is all-powerful. -Master Li, Creation, Gore Vidal
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: The Army/Navy football game has been played three times at West Point (1890, 1892, 1943) and three times at Annapolis (1891, 1893, 1842).
Today’s Stumper: The Panama Canal was Ferdinand de Lesseps second attempt at building a canal. What was his first? – Answer next time!